Pro Silverlight 4 in VB

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Overview

Silverlight is Microsoft's cross-browser technology for creating rich user experiences on the Web. Like its predecessor, Silverlight4 rides atop the .NET framework for maximum ease of use and coding efficiency. The technology carries forward much of the work that has been done before and augments it in many important respects, including support for H.264 video, major improvements to the graphics engine (including true 3D rendering), and much richer data-binding options for ...

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Overview

Silverlight is Microsoft's cross-browser technology for creating rich user experiences on the Web. Like its predecessor, Silverlight4 rides atop the .NET framework for maximum ease of use and coding efficiency. The technology carries forward much of the work that has been done before and augments it in many important respects, including support for H.264 video, major improvements to the graphics engine (including true 3D rendering), and much richer data-binding options for interfacing with other applications.

Pro Silverlight4 in VB is an invaluable reference for professional developers who want to discover the features of Silverlight. Author Matthew MacDonald's expert advice guides you through creating rich media applications using Silverlight in the environment you're most productive in—no matter what the target platform. As you learn about the features that put Silverlight in direct competition with Adobe Flash, such as rich support for 2D and 3D drawing, animations, and media playback, you'll experience the plumbing of .NET and the design model of WPF through Silverlight—all of the same .NET technology that developers use to design next-generation Windows applications.

In this book, MacDonald provides a comprehensive tutorial written from professional developer to professional developer.

What you’ll learn

  • Develop rich media applications using Silverlight across browsers and platforms
  • Create a project, set up a layout, and use controls
  • Handle both 2D and 3D drawing, animation, and media playback through Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF)
  • Integrate web services support
  • Use Silverlight in conjunction with ASP.NET and its interactions with HTML

Who this book is for

.NET developers encountering Silverlight for the first time. No prior knowledge of WPF or ASP.NET is assumed.

Table of Contents

  1. Introducing Silverlight
  2. XAML
  3. Layout
  4. Dependency Properties and Routed Events
  5. Elements
  6. The Application Model
  7. Navigation
  8. Shapes and Geometries
  9. Brushes, Transforms, and Bitmaps
  10. Animation
  11. Sound, Video, and Deep Zoom
  12. Styles and Behaviors
  13. Templates and Custom Controls
  14. Browser Integration
  15. ASP.NET Web Services
  16. Data Binding
  17. Data Controls
  18. File Access
  19. Multithreading
  20. Networking
  21. Out-of-Browser Applications
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781430235484
  • Publisher: Apress
  • Publication date: 12/9/2010
  • Edition description: 3rd ed. 2010
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 896
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 2.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Matthew MacDonald is an author,educator, and MCSD developer who has a passion for emerging technologies. He isthe author of more than a dozen books about .NET programming. In a dimly-remembered past life, he studied English literature and theoretical physics.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2011

    A superb programmer's guide

    MacDonald is a programmer's programmer, and this is a model of what a programmer's guide should be. He explains a mass of technical information in considerable detail without losing the big-picture. His clear and concise exposition of concepts and functionality is never confusing or needlessly repetitive. The book's organization is logical, yet the chapters can be read in isolation, as the need or interest arises.

    One thing this book doesn't provide is an overview of the subject for a novice trying to get the big-picture. After the briefest of introductions (10 pages), the author leaps right into building applications. Nor does it provide every technical detail you will need to complete your application. (That's why we have the web). However, if you want a book that can take you from having a rough map of the territory to being a self-sufficient Silverlight developer, I highly recommend this one.

    Starting from the fundamentals of Silverlight such as XAML, Layout and Elements, McDonald rarely puts a step wrong as he winds through the technical details, progressing to specific functional areas such as such as Animation, Data Binding and Web services. Each chapter provides a brief overview of the functionality addressed before stepping through the programming details. His code examples are concise, but also convey the significance and use of the features very clearly. The examples do not sprawl across pages and pages, as in weaker tutorials, but they do build upon one another when necessary. Working code implementing the examples from the text is available at MacDonald's personal site for anyone to download - but apparently only in C#. (As far as I could see there is no VB version yet. It may be coming later, just as the VB book lagged the C# version). Due to the intelligent choice, structuring and clear implementation of his examples, I have found them a useful jumping-off point for "real-life" applications on several occasions. I was also very glad to find that MacDonald had gone beyond the scope of the book in his code and implemented an "advanced" capability that I was specifically interested in (support for large file up/downloads via a Web Service).

    As mentioned, the book does not contain an extensive technology overview and this is reflected by the absence of many of the buzzwords associated with Silverlight from the index. You will find no mention of RIA services. MVVM is only touched upon in the context of the Command interface. (Even so, his brief explanation - added for this new SL 4 feature - is a great example of MacDonald's lucid and economical expository style. You could trawl the web for a long time without finding such a straightforward explanation.) However, while MacDonald does not attempt to convey any over-arching architectural vision, he is perfectly capable of clarifying some abstract design concepts. In Chapter 4 of the book he is already tackling the intimidating-sounding topics of Dependency Properties, Attached Properties and Routed Events. By the time you've read a few pages you're wondering what all the fuss was about. After less than six pages, MacDonald is working through a meaningful application of attached properties (a custom layout panel). Most of the chapter that follows consists of a detailed explanation and illustration of Mouse and Keyboard events handling.

    A final Caveat. This is not a book for someone wanting to catch up on what's new in Silverlight 4.

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  • Posted January 12, 2011

    Great Silverlight 4 Reference!

    The Pro Silverlight 4 in VB by Matthew MacDonald is another winner for Apress. In general I've always preferred Pro-series books because of their detailed information about the subject. This book covered a lot of important materials and my favorites included Application Model (thoroughly discussed Silverlight life cycle), File Access (talked about Isolated Storage and other ways you can save/open files), Networking (included socket programming in Silverlight), and a long discussion about Out-of-Browser applications. Matthew was also nice enough to point you to other resources when some items are not covered like information about WCF RIA. This VB version is similar to the C# version except of course for the language used in code samples. Although the XAML and .NET concepts are the same, you can still benefit from the code samples if you're not too familiar with VB. This book is a great reference and you must add it to your own library.

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